Thursday, February 23

Shani Davis: The Father, Son and O.J. Ghost

Congrats to Olympic Gold Medalist Shani Davis.

Okay, I admit it: I've largely ignored the 2006 Winter Olympics. (Surprised, right?) I've only monitored the Games at low speed and from a distance, catching up only for a handful of the athletes. Primarily, African American speedskater Shani Davis who is from my neck of the woods, the South Side of Chicago.

Universal congrats to Shani, who's made history as the first black to win an individual gold medal at the Winter Games. But what's drawing me into Davis's story more than his achievements are the rumbling subplots that have risen above the cheers.

From my detached seat waaaaay over here in a corner -- as far away from Torino, Italy, as one could possibly be -- it seems that one day, the world heralded Shani the Man for his historic first win. Now, just three or four days later, I'm smelling vilification... Shani didn't run the race that could have helped a teammate break a five-gold-medals record... Shani didn't grin friendly for the NBC interviewer...

Is it my imagination, or is there always some massive hater party thrown for blacks in the spotlight on TV? Oooh: bitchy Omarosa and selfish Randall from The Apprentice. Ewww: Starr Jones this, Starr Jones that. Awww: that no B.S. hunk from Big Brother, or the kid from Real World who slapped the girl...

Now it's Shani Davis's turn in the limelight. So on your mark, get set. Let the Electronic Lynch Game begin. It's as if random black people are paying for the sins of O.J.

Dayum, it's been 10 years since that trial.

Well, if this isn't a throwback to O.J., it's clear that certain African Americans have the Zen ability to morph before the eye of a camera lens. You'd think there was a big uppity green Hulk lurking in each and every one of us, just waiting for our moment in the spotlight.

Hats off, though, to the the PR geniuses who know how to work these Evil Black Person angles. They deserve fat bonuses for so cleverly plussing-up viewership and ad dollars that are sagging.

Clicks to Miles Davis catalog, but explore as you like


Blogger Lili said...

Has it really been 10 years since that trial? Dayum indeed!

The media has to find the angles...and unfortunatley the nasty or bad angles are what sells in todays sick society. It's bullshit, it's wrong....but how will it stop? I don't know...

I congratulate and am in awe of any athlete that makes it to the olympics... no matter what!

Hope all is well...glad to see you are posting again girl!

8:15 PM  
Blogger Mr. Techjitsu said...

Hmmm- you threw a lot of people together under that heading of "Hated On". I do not think all of them belong there, but a better critique would be that there are some pretty distinct differences for some of those folks.

I agree that Stephen from RW:Seattle got a raw deal. The woman attacked his sexuality on national television- something she KNEW was a sore spot for him. The producers sent Stephen to anger management, but no one sent her to a sensitivity course for homophobia...

Starr Jones... well, she is the latest recipient of the "Toni Morrison"-treatment. You run off at the mouth about how 'good' you have it, people are bound to hate on you something FIERCE. If you don't flaunt it, you are less likely to be called-out on it.

My man Randall- he is TRULY being treated unfairly. How many other white folks on the Apprentice have been TWICE as aggressive as him? And was he ever rude about it? Plus- how would you react if you fought tooth&nail for the prize and Trump asks you if he should hire both you and the 'loser'- something he has NEVER asked anyone before in the previous competitions?!?! Hell-nawh!

Omarosa- I disowned that media-ho' a long time ago! She isn't black, she is GREEN: out for $$$ at almost any cost.

Sorry to the Big Brother dude- hate that show and never saw him.

Anyway- what I am trying to say is that we can't just lump this folks together under the banner of blackness and say they are getting hated on SOLELY due to their ethnicity. Shani is definitely getting the 'negro treatment', but there are a lot of other factors involved: american media needs to sell SOMETHING in an otherwise boring olympic scene, Hedrick is more than willing to keep popping off at the mouth [though no one discusses his selfish motives], and Shani doesn't really lay it all out there- he just says enough to keep it hot.

Put that punk [and the entire American Skating Association] on BLAST! Stop dancing around the beef and COOK IT!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

Agree. It is really sick how excited we get over controvery, even manufacture it to create buzz.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

Mr. Tech,
I agree, all of the situations cited were different. Still, it's annoying to keep seeing blacks become the recipient of mass pop hatred. This I type, while in the background from my DVD player blares the song, "You know it's hard out here for a pimp." No truer words have been said! lol

7:36 AM  
Blogger Naro% said...

Viqi, I am soooo glad you hit this up. First off the whole "ANTI NIGGER MACHINE" is in full effect (A Public Enemy Classic) Love the words oft used when talking about black atheletes, its the whole as long as they know thier place thing. He's so articulate (like we cant talk) or how he came up against the odds (espn loves that angle) and how they always bring in the momma after she get the house her baby bought for her after his first big check (nigga always gotta cry in this scene) and as long as he keeps his mouth shut doesnt "showboat" (shakehis ass) he's cool. This is explotation/emasculation trough the mass media and it goes on every day. The use of "micro" insults is no different than saying he's a nigger with a bad attitude, you just being slick how you drop it.

Rationalisations aside this cat won a gold medal thats big time shit! and he did it during black history month on the biggest atheletic stage in the world, and all YT (not all yt's just the bad ones :) )could do was try to diminish that fact with distractions. Now I am not even gonna go into the funky ass sports-man-ship (GET IT?) displayed by his teamate, we all know how it would go if we pulled the ol' fuck that nigga I aint shakin his hand shit. It would be followed by a serious ass lashing by every commentater on the planet and then he or she would have to go on TV make a public apology (Yessa mista boss man I beees real good next time).
Big props to My man on them skates, I woulda walked out on them bitches too...

9:24 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

yo naro%,
yup, "he speaks so well, doesn't he?!" that is, until he stops grinning and shuffling. then, he's some sort of "uppity black" deserving of the electronic lash. sickening.

9:57 AM  

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